Say what you will about the Argyle boys’ basketball team’s style of play, coach Russell Perkins’ system is one that’s tried and proven.

“We live and die with defense,” Perkins told Texas Scorecard. “It’s been that way since before I got here and it’s certainly continued. We make things hard for people; that’s our calling card.”

Off to a 15-5 start this season, the Eagles have held opponents to an average of just over 40 points per game and have allowed over 60 just once. And Perkins predicts the defense could be even better before the end of the season.

“We’re still trying to get some of our football kids back in the mix, which will help with our depth even more,” he said. “Plus, we’re still a young team and our kids are getting better at it all the time.”

The Eagles are led by the three-guard attack of seniors Max Valentine and Hunter Lavelle and junior Jackson Maupin.

“At 6-4, Max is very versatile and plays inside and outside for us,” Perkins said. “He creates all kinds of matchup problems on both ends.”

Perkins describes the 6-foot Lavelle as a “true point guard” who orchestrates everything the Eagles want to do, and the 6-foot-1 Mauphin as a “knock-down shooter.”

But it always comes back to defense for the Eagles.

“We’re willing to play defense for a long time to the point most teams have to slow down what they want to do to keep up with us,” said Perkins, adding that molding his team in such a way hasn’t been as difficult as some might think.

“The kids have really bought in because they’ve seen us be successful at this before,” he said. “Back in 2012, we won a state title playing like this and we’ve been in the state tournament since then with the same style. They’ve seen the results and know what can happen.”

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